Members of a Hong Kong business delegation held a series of business meetings with the heads of Russian ministries and departments as well as the heads of major Russian companies in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The business mission was organized by the Roscongress Foundation. Business meetings with potential business partners were organized for the members of the delegation during the visit. The detailed analytical materials and expert advice that were prepared for the delegation members provided them with insight into the specifics of Russian economic trends and helped them to negotiate as constructively as possible.
The first working event was held in the format of a meeting between Russian business circles and business mission participants from Hong Kong. The Chinese businessmen and investors heard presentations from the heads of leading Russian companies and received real proposals for partnership for the first time.
The investors held meetings with: Adviser to the Russian President Anton Kobyakov, Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East Alexander Kozlov, Governor of the Kaluga Region Anatoly Artamonov, Skolkovo Foundation President and Chairman of the Renova Group Board of Directors Viktor Vekselberg, Governor of the HMAO Natalia Komarova, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), President of the Higher school of Economics – National Research University Alexander Shokhin, Chairman of the Tinkoff Bank Board of Directors Oleg Tinkov, and several heads of major Russian businesses that work in various industries.
Vekselberg spoke about the implementation of the Skolkovo Innovation Centre project and invited the businessmen from Hong Kong to cooperate in science and the development of modern technologies. He said that about two thousand start-ups have already been launched in a wide range of areas and are functioning with the support of the Skolkovo Foundation. “Russia is rich not only in terms of its subsoil and resources, but, most importantly, in terms of its talented people. Russia has unique scientists, but for now we don’t always know how to convert their cutting-edge developments into full-fledged market products – this is the key objective of Skolkovo”, Vekselberg said. “We are trying to create a business environment that helps to attract Russian and foreign investment in order to create innovative products that are competitive at the global level”. Vekselberg also presented a project for the construction of a new international airport and major logistics centre in Kamchatka and invited investors to work together in this promising region of Russia. Ronnie Chan, the head of the Hong Kong delegation and chairman of major developer Hang Lung Properties, said that he is actively working on developing the high-tech industry and plans to learn more about the Russian innovation centre’s projects.
The business mission members were interested in the development of an innovative financial system that would optimize international business, accelerate the implementation of projects, and enhance the level of control over the financial system in the country as a whole.
The delegation also met with the Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, and St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko, Governor of the Novgorod region Andrey Nikitin. The investors were extremely interested in the possibility of investing in the economic development of major cities and regions in Russia. The development of the tourism industry in Moscow and the cultural historical city of St. Petersburg generated particular interest. Chan said: “I like St. Petersburg. I believe that we must actively work on significantly increasing the flow of tourism from China. I also like Moscow very much. In my opinion, significant investments need to be made in the development of its infrastructure and the tourism industry”.
The business mission members stressed that they have considerable experience in developing the tourism industry and noted that more than 67 million tourists visit Hong Kong annually. Far East Consortium International Ltd. Chairman David Chiu stressed that he would like to start investing in St. Petersburg and asked to prepare specific proposals.
Bonds Group of Companies Chairman Anson Chan invited Russia to take make use of Hong Kong’s capabilities to promote agricultural products on the Chinese market as a whole: “Russia has excellent agriculture. And it is essential to develop supplies of high-quality and eco-friendly Russian products to China. If Russian manufacturers start supplying food to Hong Kong, this would be excellent marketing to enter the entire market of our country”.
During the business mission, the Hong Kong businessmen also discussed opportunities for cooperation involving medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, the IT industry, modern scientific technologies, industrial production, and transportation. All the delegation participants expressed their desire to study the proposals for cooperation they received in more detail and select a format to start the joint work.
“Multi-faceted cooperation between Russia and Hong Kong has started very successfully, and we have every reason to believe that the work of this business mission will help to create promising international business projects”, Adviser to the Russian President Anton Kobyakov said as he summarized the Hong Kong delegation’s business programme. “Most members of this delegation were visiting our country for the first time. And even though many regions of Russia are already successfully working with China’s financial centre, we need to do everything possible to expand cooperation between our countries in all possible business areas”.